Sunday, July 30, 2006

R.I.P, T.O.T.P

It was the end of an era tonight as Top of the Pops finished a 42 year run on British TV. Admittedly I hadn’t watched it in a long time, and apparently towards the end no one else did either, but still, there was a certain comfort to be had from its continued presence in the TV listings, and I'm going to miss it.

I had a look at the charts for the start and end of the run, and was fascinated. TOTP was born under the sign of Capricorn, as the first show broadcast on January 1st 1964 (with a line-up that included both The Beatles and The Stones!), and Cap is the sign of longevity so it’s no surprise that so many candles ended up on the cake. The Sun is a degree away from the South Node, which puts North Node in Cancer, and N.N. ruler Moon in Leo sitting near a 14 degree Leo ascendant.

This Capricorn Sun/South Node conjunction got my attention because it means it also makes a conjunction to the Sun in the United Kingdom birthchart (Jan 1st 1801). No wonder TOTP is so embedded in the nations psyche.
Other synastry between the UK and TOTP (opening show) charts are a Venus/Venus conjunction in Aquarius, and a Neptune/Neptune conjunction in Scorpio. Neptune squares Saturn in Aquarius at 20 degrees. Which means Neptune in the final show chart conjuncts Saturn at 19 degrees of Aquarius.
Currently, Saturn sits opposite at 14 Leo (remember moon and ascendant of first show chart). The UK chart also has Saturn in Leo, and as a nice finishing touch, final show chart has Moon in Libra crossing UK chart’s ascendant. Confusing to explain, but worth it to see the synastry in action.

Top of the Pops was so very British, and such a tradition that only Capricorn could explain it. That North Node in Cancer is interesting too, as it was always such a family show. It’s why Brits of so many generations go misty eyed at the mention of it, because of the childhood associations.
Actually one of my earliest memories is of watching Top of the Pops in the early 70’s, terrified out of my tiny mind by a glitter packed performance of ‘Blockbuster’ by glam rockers The Sweet. I was still smaller than the TV, and standing so close that the singer’s larger than life bright blonde head scared the wits out of me. There was something menacing about his fringe apparently.

As a farewell nostalgia trip, I found a link to that performance by the Sweet here, and couldn't resist the Rolling Stones here, John Lennon here, Oasis here, and the wonderful Goldfrapp here.



April said...

Aw... I feel a little misty-eyed at this news myself, and I'm not even British, nor have I ever watched Top of the Pops. But as a music fan in the U.S. growing up in the 60's and 70's I caught endless T.O.T.P. clips on TV and in documentaries about the British Invasion. In my mind it was as venerable and invincible an institution as the Queen's little handbags. Interesting writeup, Barbara! (Oh man, did you have to mention The Sweet? Now I'm gonna have "Little Willy" running around in my head all day!)

Barbara Palliser said...

oh, you made me laugh April, I forgot all about The Sweet's Little Willy :-)

I wasn't sure whether anyone outside the UK would know what I was on about with Top of the Pops, so thanks for your comment.
I suppose it's a Neptune thing, you know, music has no limits etc..